Flammeus Gladius

Carmina et Verba pro Discipulis Meis

Tag: Hector

Spelling Lesson

Spelling Lesson


Hector, you know you didn’t stand a chance

Even if gods had failed to intervene.

While we’re admiring your courageous stance,

We’re sneering at your foolishness.  I mean,

Come on!  What were you thinking?  You had seen

That force of nature some took for a man

Before.  Son, did the concept of “machine”

Enter your head?  I know it did.  You ran—

You who of timely flight were not a fan!

But then you had to go and turn around.

What should I say?  We all do what we can,

And perfect sense is very rarely found.

I’ll make one point that you will not enjoy.

Your courage, Hector, spelt the end of Troy.


–Tom Riley





Hector’s body you deigned to restore.
Well, you had to. Unwise to ignore
Jove’s command from on high.
You relented. No lie.
After that, you got on with the war.

–Tom Riley

Priam Pleading with Achilles, by Gavin Hamilton

Odium et Amor

Odium et Amor

“Nor oath nor pact Achilles plights with thee.”

Iliad, Book 22.

As pure and spotless as Minerva’s state,
Your hatred was a model to us all.
Yes, Hector learned exactly how you hate.
On imitation, though, he couldn’t call.
Trojan excuses couldn’t make it stall,
The engine that was beating in your chest.
Ulysses’ wisdom overcame the wall—
But I still think your boundless wrath was best.
And nowadays I’m thoroughly distressed
To hear vile, gutless cowards call you brute.
What never stirred in them can know no rest.
What never grew in them can take no root.
O noble mind, your vengeance wasn’t shoddy.
I cheered when you were dragging Hector’s body.

–Tom Riley

Wrath of Achilles

The Wrath of Achilles

You could, of course, have let your comrade lie.
You could have gone on living in great ease.
Instead, you rose in wrath. I don’t ask why.
You could, of course, have let your comrade lie
In dust. Unmoved by Hector’s battle cry,
You could have shown restraint. This world agrees:
You could, of course, have let your comrade lie.
You could have gone in living in great ease.

–Tom Riley

Godlike Achilles

Godlike Achilles

Hector thought for a moment, perhaps,
He might win. Mortal minds set such traps.
But Achilles thought not
A whole lot of such rot.
For our vain hopes, the gods are not saps.

–Tom Riley




Wine is bottled poetry — and MadoroM is an epic!


Wrathful Achilles had that Hector thing,

And even Hector had his chance to die

For crumbling country and for father king:

He knew he’d lose — but nobly had to try.

Exiled Aeneas, also quite a guy,

After his Carthaginian flirtation,

Went on to do the will of Jove on high,

Preparing Rome as far more than a nation.

Each in his own way, in his fated station,

Was hero and, though mortal, dared transcend.

Now there’s MadoroM.  Ah, sublime potation!

Surely, like Rome’s, its fame can never end.

And what of those old heroes from before?

Can any rival Andy Amador?


–Tom Riley